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New playground section of Peachtree Ridge Park opens

SUWANEE - Another section of the new Peachtree Ridge Park has opened, Gwinnett County Parks and Recreations officials said.

A playground, a large picnic pavilion, basketball courts, a restroom facility, an open play area and a mile of paved multi-purpose trails with a .23-mile handicap-accessible loop recently opened, according to a news release. A football field with a lighted walking track opened in the fall.

The Parks and Recreations Department will have a grand opening this spring to highlight the elements of the first phase of the 155.7-acre park, including two areas still under construction: a special needs ball field and playground.

"It's being constructed in phases," said Sharon Plunkett, a division director in charge of operations, "and it's working its way to full completion."

This will be the second park in Gwinnett County to have a handicap-accessible ballfield. Bay Creek Park in Loganville has a field with a special rubberized surface, and its Unity Place playground has wheelchair-friendly sandboxes, slides and swings.

"It's something that's been in the planning process for a number of years," Plunkett said. "We need two locations in the county in order to accommodate the program."

Plunkett said Peachtree Ridge Park is an ideal location for the special needs facilities because the Peachtree Ridge Youth Athletic Association, a volunteer organization that will provide an enhanced level of service at the park, has a special needs athletics program called INSPIRE, or Intramural Sports that Promote Inclusion, Respect and Excellence.

Peachtree Ridge Park is located at 3170 Suwanee Creek Road in Suwanee.